Heard Museum

If you're an eBay PowerSeller, you'll scoff at this modest sale. The number 30,000 — that's the total quantity of items typically up for grabs — will make you chortle softly. Poor saps, you'll say to yourself, thinking of those potential book buyers who choose to thumb through books, read prefaces and inscriptions, feel the heft of the tomes in their hand, and generally lollygag their way through the selection process. "Thirty thousand books," you sniff. "Hmph! They'd have to add another zero to get me there."

Good! Stay home, you resale vulture! There's more to life than first editions and publishing gaffes!

We go to this low-key annual affair 'cause we like books. We like choosing them. We like reading them. When we've finished the last line, we like placing them on a shelf and feeling a small ping! of joy when we encounter them again in the future. People who get the ping! will understand the Market. When the sale opens, you just kinda, well, walk through a door — which isn't jammed with pushing, shoving people — take a few steps to a long table filled with books, which isn't overly crowded, and start looking.

It's pretty revolutionary. You should try it.

Mesa Typewriter Exchange

Before desktop and laptop computers, there were typewriters. Remember? Well, we do, and we even use them from time to time to type up to-do lists and letters to be sent in the mail. (Yes, people still do that, too.) Our favorite place to browse for these time-tested machines is the Mesa Typewriter Exchange. Bill Wahl's shop in downtown Mesa carries workable manual and electric typewriters, including the most popular back-in-the-day brands such as Underwood, Royal, and IBM. Unlike thrift-store typewriters, which have zero chance of working, Wahl personally repairs and puts 50-plus years of typewriter TLC into refurbishing and repairing the machines. Business hours are limited, so make sure you call ahead before stepping back into the past.

Frances

We've given owner Georganne Bryant a nod in our Sideshow profiles but really, an issue of Best of Phoenix just wouldn't be complete without an award for Best Boutique, and we've gotta hand it to Frances.

From carefully chosen vintage clothing (we even noticed the Goldwater's Department Store tag still affixed to one item, and a picture of the original owner on another!), thick Mexican leather purses and belts to pendants and rings so whimsical they'll take your breath away, this space rivals any specialty boutique we've been in, anywhere. Toss in housewares, stationery, baby gifts, and new clothing (mostly women's but with a few men's T's thrown in for good measure). The signature touches on everything from the Web site to the wall displays just ooze style — and put our fair city on the shopping map, for sure.

Bunky Boutique

In some cities, no self-respecting chick would ever disclose where she found her great clothes. Names of sassy stores and boutiques are guarded like state secrets. And sometimes they are — ever notice how downtown types dress like ensemble creation is an Olympic event? Not so for Bunky Boutique — devotees of Rachel Richard's charming store gush with the fervor of the recently converted. Why? Not only does she stock some of the most adorable threads in town, she's worked long and hard to make sure they're priced well. And by well we mean dresses for $50, wraps for $30, and Havianas at the best price in the 'Nix — under $25.

Sure, vegan-friendly ultra-stylish bags by Amy Kathryn might be a bit more, but the $4 Catholic Saints bracelet helps justify the expense. From Fluxus to Brown Round to Kidrobot, Bunky Boutique stocks the merch that will keep you coming back again and again. And at these prices, you can afford to.

Shop Devious

If you've ever worried that fashion and budget couldn't possibly co-exist, you've obviously never been to Anna Marie's funky Shop Devious on rapidly changing Grand Avenue. We've slated our lust for handbags here many times, like when we snagged a brand new herringbone and velvet ribbon clutch for $6, or a slouchy purple hobo bag, also new, for $7. Vintage fashion your thing? It's here, and almost nothing in the entire boutique is over $15, with shoes — even boots — for $10. Want to embrace your inner club kid? How about wicked and wild fake eyelashes, in every color of the rainbow, and even some that aren't — like Day-Glo or glow in the dark. Looking for a custom anime wig? Gotcher head covered, along with snap-in hair extensions to match your outfit and bottles of Pixie Glitter for your inner sparkly fairy princess. No, those prices aren't misprints; it's the real deal.

The best part? This stylin' store is open almost every day. Grand Avenue isn't just for First Fridays anymore.

Garage

All the way at the back of The Mix, the glam, Fred Segal-ish collection of shops on Scottsdale's Stetson Drive, you'll find our favorite boutique, Garage. Here, almost all pretense is thrown to the wind, and you can hang at the candy bar (eat your heart out, Dylan Lauren) and browse mini-me versions of the latest Marc Jacobs and Sonia Rykiel designs for kids. We love the liberal dose of Paul Frank and similar comically inclined designers, and while the "body shop" motif is present, there are plenty of frilly duds for the little girl in your life.

You'll leave asking the age-old question, "Why don't they make that in my size?"

Lollilocks

There are lots of kiddy hair salons cutting their way into the market, and frankly, they're all about the same when it comes to Junior's buzz cut. But our favorite, aesthetically speaking, is Lollilocks. From the candy-themed décor to the spa pedicures in the back and the handy "kiddy corral" that allows you to contain one kid (in front of a TV!) while tending to the other, this is a well-designed beautification plan.

And the bonus: great merch! We happened to hit the place during a massive sale, not long ago, but even at full price, this stuff is a find: kiddy sunglasses in Spider-Man print for boys and funky pinks for girls; Scout tote bags for mom; Lollilocks' own scented lotions and potions; and, of course, every hair accessory imaginable.

We got all our upcoming birthday gifts covered, and walked out with two well-coiffed kids. Now, that's sweet!

Small Change

We were shopping for gently used kids' clothing long before some greenster thought to call it "recycling." Whatever you call it, Small Change is the place. You won't find clothing from Target or Old Navy (what's the point, it's practically free at the lower-end spots) but Small Change stocks the castoffs of some of the best-dressed kids in Scottsdale. That means labels from Neiman Marcus, The Gap, Baby Style, and a lot of designers we know we should recognize. Watch out, the place is addictive, and they're piiiiiiicky — so don't expect them to take your own stuff in exchange.

Mint Vintage

This shop is kind of a two-for-one deal. Mint is located inside Red Modern Furniture, one of the best and most reliable places to find quality mid-century furniture in town. But, as that '70s chaise we have our eye on is a bit out of our price range, Mint Vintage is the real reason we frequent this address. The quality of a vintage shop depends a lot on the quality of the owner's taste. Too many vintage racks are packed with cheap, easy-to-thrift crap from the '80s. Yawn. That's why we're thrilled that the brain behind Mint seems to favor mod, disco trash and glam — as well as the occasional lovely '40s frock.

We also spied three pairs of "big e" Levi's and a jacket to match. It's heavenly. And, according to the Web site, Mint loves Pucci. You really can't go wrong there. It's a little pricier than what some AZ vintage shoppers might be used to, but consider this: the flawless silk green and yellow '50s party dress we were eyeing recently for $60 would have been double that in NYC or San Fran. See? There are perks to toughing things out in PHX.

Best Place to Buy Designer Jeans for Cheap

Goodwill

Goodwill

Wouldn't you like to see what recycled designer threads you could find at a Goodwill in Beverly Hills? Well, you don't have to fly to L.A. because we've got a Goodwill in Scottsdale that, yes, recycles the designer digs of trophy wives and trust-fund babies alike.

We know a wise man who used to say that anything worthwhile requires hard work. The same holds true for Goodwill's designer-jeans hookup. You must be willing to plug your nose and dig, but if you do, you may walk away with treasures ranging from $2 to $12. In addition to donating families, at least one Scottsdale dry cleaner drops its unclaimed (and cleaned) designer clothes here, too.

Of course, if money isn't a factor, you can head north to Scottsdale Fashion Square and pay up to $500 for the same brands. But if you've got some treasure-hunting blood in you, head south, young jeans buyer.

Best Of Phoenix®

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